The governor of New Jersey on Tuesday reaffirmed his commitment to passing legislation to get a legal marijuana market up and running after voters approved a legalization referendum in November.
In a State of the State address, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said “we are on the verge of passing an innovative and groundbreaking set of laws to reform our historically unjust approach to marijuana and cannabis.”
Advocates had hoped that the legislature would have moved quicker to approve enabling legislation, but disagreements between lawmakers and the governor over certain provisions concerning underaged people have delayed the reform.
A “clean up” bill was expected to get a floor vote on Monday, but it was postponed after key legislators pulled their support.
“Two months ago, you voted overwhelmingly to legalize adult-use marijuana, and begin the process of ending the racial imbalance that disproportionately penalizes black and brown people arrested for marijuana offenses,” the governor said in his address. “We’re setting up a cannabis industry that will promote the growth of new small businesses, many of which will be owned by women, minorities and veterans.”